Photographing twenty headshots and portraits in central London company’s office.
Earlier this year I was approached by a representative of a financial company, located in central London. They were in process of updating their old website and needed professional photographer to create a new content, including corporate headshots, portraits and some ambient/stock (of their office, indoor, and some exterior shots) like photography for their web-designer’s flexibility.
It was relatively easy and straight forward to communicate with my client, as it seemed he had already dealt with photographers in the past. We exchanged paper work and signatures, defining/releasing usages and rights upheld by my client – agreements between the two parties.
My client was straight forwardly looking for something more creative, not the typical corporate headshots photography you see every day – he told me.
Small selection of headshots images – below:
Photo-shoot brief and first visit to the office.
After sending my quote and winning the bid for the job, as usual I wasn’t the only photographer approached by the client, I asked if we could setup a meeting at the company’s office and start planning and outlining the plan of action for the day of the photo-shoot. My client was more than happy, actually surprise, that I was so willing to meet them beforehand and free of charge – for me was really important to see how much space and in what sort of ambient surrounding I was going to carry on with the project.
On the day of the meeting, we agreed to have the meeting between me, the photographer, my client and their web-designer, we all sat around the table and start going through what needed to be done. Then, as we were discussing the headshots, my client reviled a new detail – a game changer. Besides the corporate headshots they needed for all of their twenty staff, his boss had requested another set of portraits set in front of a window with view to Hyde Park and Marble Arch, where the office is located. This prompted an adjustment of my quote for the project, as it was going to require an extra setup and doubling the time for both photo-shooting and post processing – my client didn’t have any problem with this.
The next two hours we spend with the web designer, going around the office and setting frames and scenes for potential shots to be captured and used in particular pages of the website. Then we wen’t through all the pages, he had planned, deciding optimizing for what options we have to create the best content possible. At the end we went outside, exploring the outdoor possibilities.
So, to summarize my brief included:
- Twenty corporate headshot, on a white background.
- Twenty portraits, in front of a window with view of Hyde park and Marble Arch.
- Images of the office reception and front door entrance.
- Company staff working in the offices
- Company staff in meeting rooms with clients
- Few setups shots across the office building
- Outdoor images – surrounding area where the office is located.
And somehow, my client thought that all of this could have been done in one day!
One of the many portraits by the window, I photographed on the day:
Preparation and Photography Equipment for the photo-shoot.
And of course, for project of this size there was some substantial preparation process involved. Do to the client’s specific requirements and the fact the photo session needed to be set in their company’s office, I had to get some extra tools and items in order to make sure the whole work process was to go smoothly.
I had most of the equipment already; all I needed to get extra was a white paper background, for the headshots, extra rechargeable batteries (for my speedlites) and I also completely changed my flash remote triggering system. Previously I was using, for many years, PocketWizard system with my Canon speedlites but I found them not very reliable plus they were very expensive (as I needed to get more receivers, do to the extra portrait setup my client requested). So I wen’t for something much affordable and reliable – one Godox Xpro-C and seven Godox X1T-C TTL (obviusly with Godox would of been much more cost efficient, if I had Godox flashes).
The rest of the tools included many light stands , soft boxes, umbrellas and gaffer tape (what sort of photo shoot can go without gaffer tape). My lighting consisted of seven speedlites, and in case you may ask “But why would you go on such important job to shoot with speedlites” my answer is – because they are light to carry and take less space (imagine how much space would of taken seven professional photography strobes), also like big strobes they are just source of light – good enough to complete this particular project. And lets not forget that I was about to work in quite limited space, where there was just enough space to fit the two lighting setups – as can be seeing on the images bellow.
As I mentioned earlier, my client had the idea that the whole project could be completed in one day. However, before we started I have told him that is very likely the job could extend over two days (keeping in mind I was working without assistant on this occasion), so we decided to see how the first day will go and then extend into second one.
From the images bellow can be seeing the extra content I needed to capture, besides the headshots and portraits (click on the images for larger view).
The best part was that I found myself surrounded by such cool and easy going people to work with thought the day – a factor that contributed to the flawless and pleasurable execution of the project.
Once all required shots were completed, it was time for post processing – it took me nearly two weeks to edit all images my client selected, nevertheless the effort was well worth it. And in case you wonder why I took so long to edit the images, from the before/after image bellow you can see that shooting in small office comes with lots of issues that need fixing after.
Up to date this was my largest Corporate Headsots project I took on, and I’m glad my client chose to work with (after a selection of other photographers). This is the sort of projects every professional photographer needs as a progressive challenge in his/her career.
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